A study by Indian researchers has revealed that smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity heightens chances of Coronary Artery Diseases (CAD) among people who are under 30 years of age.
The study of data relating to patients under age 30 identified that potentially modifiable risk factors including smoking, high blood cholesterol, hypertension, alcohol use, obesity, and diabetes, which together account for 95 percent of coronary artery disease cases.
The researchers have claimed that the study covered the largest number of patients with symptomatic coronary artery disease across the world under 30 years of age.
Secondly, it also dismissed the general belief that hereditary factors and family history are chiefly responsible for CAD among children and youth.
Dr. S. Harikrishnan, Professor of Cardiology at Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology, under the federal Department of Science and Technology, told Sputnik “Generally, it was believed that hereditary factors and family history were responsible for CAD in children and young people. This study clearly refutes this concept. Genetic causes were associated in very few patients in the study.”
A vast majority of patients were male (92 percent). Sixty-four percent of patients with symptomatic coronary artery disease in this age group were smokers and 88 percent had high blood cholesterol.
Twenty one percent had alcohol habits and all of them were men. Eighty-two percent of these patients presented with acute myocardial infarction.
Only 4 percent were diabetic in this cohort. The youngest patient, who required coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG), was a 15-year-old boy with familial hypercholesterolemia who had complained of chest pain.
The study was based on data collected from young patients, who underwent coronary angiography for symptomatic coronary artery disease between January 2013 and December 2017.
There was an increased percentage of early mortality among those patients, because of non-adherence to medications (41 percent) to stopping follow-up visits as they were asymptomatic, and delayed presentation for follow-up treatment.
Another major reason for risk factors was that the patients did not modify their lifestyles, despite warnings, said Dr. Harikrishnan. Nearly half of those who were advised CABG (bypass surgery) refused it, despite advanced disease, he added.
“Patients did not modify their lifestyle, (especially smoking and alcohol intake) despite repeated counselling. After a heart attack, 33.7 percent continued to smoke, 17 percent continued to use alcohol, 50 percent was not doing any exercise and 79 percent did not shift to a healthy diet,” he pointed out.
This observational study has been published in Indian Journal for Medical Research’s latest edition.